We all sometimes need to live out our inner „wild child“, „wild dog“ or whatever you call your passion spirit inside yourself. Some of us do extreme sports to get this special adrenaline kick and there is for example- hiking- or rock climbing.
Rock climbing is a sport in which those „wild spirit followers“ climb up or across natural rock formations or huge rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a worked out route.
Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport. It is one of those kinds of sports which often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with his or her mental control. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. So it is essential that especially beginners do not just go out and try it on their own!
What you need is (climbing shoes), a rope, general-purpose devices for connecting things, nylon cord, harnesses for connecting climbers to things, devices for applying friction to the rope, and devices for wedging into the rock. If you would like to know more about the importance and usage of climbing equipment visit: http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~sedwards/climbing/equipment.html
Important techniques are “Top Roping and Belaying”, “Lead Climbing and of course also “Getting down”. For specified description also visit: http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~sedwards/climbing/techniques.html
And where do you climb? Well it probably starts in a gym and then you will start practising outdoor at small walls. But which destinations are a must on a true rock climbers „to do before death- list“?
With numerous exciting climbs, Europe offers a wide range of climbing walls for various styles. One excellent and all-year round climbing destination is Kalymnos, Greece which offers numerous routes for all experience levels. Also Hungary, Sardinia, Italy, Fontainebleau and Budapest are interesting places to know, when you are into rock climbing.
North America offers you thousands of climbs. The Stawamus Chief which is a cliff-faced granite massif can be found in Squamish, British Columbia. If you are looking for the longest sport route and walls which range from steep overhanging face to easy ledge, then check out Potrero Chico in Mexico. The Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah shouldn’t be missed as well. Visit Needles District and its naturally sculptured rocks like canyons.
A good place to be in South America is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- not just for dancing, also because it is a real Rock Climbing paradise, with hundreds of routes ranging from easy challenges to highly technical big wall climbs, all inside the city. You might also want to check out the good climbing scene in Suesca, Colombia, where you can take a tough climbing challenge in the Colombian mountains in Pulpito del Diablo, Sierra Nevada del Cocuy.
In Asia you can discover one-of-a-kind climbs. In Thailand, a popular Rock Climbing destination would be the limestone cliffs of Crazy Horse Buttress. You can also visit the cliffs of Railay Beach which attract rock climbers all over the world because of the breath-taking sights and relaxing atmosphere. Turalli, India is also a place to be. The peaks in Malaysia are nearly 4,000 km above sea level so climbing trips are suitable for any sort of expedition.
Africa, especially South Africa, offers numerous rock faces, big walls, and barely touched routes for rock climbers. For sport climbing enthusiasts, Johannesburg a perfect place, while Table Mountain boasts routes for traditional climbers. If you are in Africa, you also should not miss out Cape Town and its superb routes.
Also the other end of the world can give you a different kind of Rock Climbing experience. If you are in Polynesia, visit New Zealand and climb the Hanging Rock. For Australia you should take a Rock Climbing trip at Brisbane and explore the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. If you go to Victoria, you will discover major climbing destinations: Mt. Arapiles and Grampians with lots of samples of crags and cliffs. Take the challenge and go Rock Climbing in these areas!
Because of the wide range and variety of rock formations around the world rock climbing has got many different types and styles, eg:
Aid Climbing: Is the most popular method of climbing big walls, which is about standing on or pulling oneself up with ropes (upward progress).
Traditional climbing: This type involves rock climbing routes that do not have permanent anchors placed (safety) to protect climbers from falls while ascending.
Sport Climbing: Unlike Traditional Rock Climbing, Sport Climbing involves the use of protection. So anchors are attached to the rock walls.
Well and if you feel like climbing or at least a short walk through a close forest yourself- do so, it is good for your body and soul!
And for those, who are too lazy to either climb or walk at the moment, I recommend an interesting movie called “The Alps”- have a look at the trailer on You tube: : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-nbkYg-q0A or watch the whole film on DVD or at an IMAX cinema!
So have fun exploring the moutains- by walking or watching 😉